2017 : The Sword of Ianna (ZX Spectrum)

Program Details:

  • Published: 2017, Retroworks
  • Graphics/Design: Fco. Javier Velasco (pagantipaco)
  • Code/Concept: Fco. Javier Peña (utopian)
  • Music: Alberto J. González (McAlby)
  • Genre: Adventure, Platform
  • Controls: Keyboard/Joystick
  • Players: 1p
  • Formats: Disk and tape, various


It did not take me long after trying out this new 2017 action-adventure platformer from Retroworks, sure to be modern classic, to immediately post some thoughts, warranting a quick review: largely at this point on initial impression and controls. The premise appears to be basically a Conan-inspired adventure epic, supported by the obvious barbarian character as well as the fantastic melodic, pseudo slavic folk/barbarian mythos-inspired music. You can run, slash, jump, and apparently keep inventory all between largely your joystick/pad + a couple miminal keystrokes (inventory and swapping fight/move modes). The controls are fairly easy and very smooth all considering the array of movment, as its flow -- very retro-improved++ feel.

It was apparent much thought went in by the developer to keep things very simple, playable and peanut butter smooth. For those of us retro-gamers who prefer to keep things 2-button and ultra-simple as possible, all the actions you can perform minimally is impressive here to say the least - really packed in to the max. For example, alone with the joystick or dpad, once in fighting mode the fire button + each direction offers a different sword slash; jumping is performed by pressing up or up-diagonals; running is a breeze, holding fire button; jumping on ledges with auto-grab and up to climb, etc. Brilliant and natural. Lastly, fighting is not so barebones and challenging in mechanic, surprisingly. After your first opponent spar, it seems you will have to literally coordinate your attacks both in timing and type. The Sword of Ianna also seems to have harnessed some of the inexplicable charms of the ZX Spectrum platform. Recommended, absolute essential.


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